|D'deridex-class warbird in 2367|
|Mass:||4,320,000 metric tons|
|Speed:||Warp 9 (observed)|
|Armaments:||6+ disruptor cannons; 2+ photon torpedo launchers|
|Defenses:||Deflector shields, cloaking device|
The emergence of the massive D'deridex-class Warbird in 2364, during an encounter with the USS Enterprise-D on the edge of the Neutral Zone, signaled the end of a fifty-three year Romulan isolation. (TNG: "The Neutral Zone", et al.)
Over the next ten years, these Warbirds would participate in numerous encounters with Starfleet.
By 2374, they were also prominently featured in the Dominion War, where they were instrumental in forcing the Dominion fleets back time and again. (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight", "The Reckoning", et al.)
- The term Warbird dates back as far as the 2344 encounter with the USS Enterprise-C. It is, however, unclear if this specifically refers to the D'deridex-class design or that of yet another unknown Warbird class.
The D'deridex-class Warbird was one of the most advanced vessels in the Romulan Star Empire. Warbirds are roughly twice as long as a Federation Galaxy-class starship, with an advantage in fire power, but a lower maximum speed and less combat maneuverability.
The outboard plan of the Warbirds' design incorporates a unique horizontally split-"shell" hull design, with a prominent forward section. The bulk of the ships overall size is incorporated in the open-shell, which resemble two separate "wings" that meet at either side at the warp nacelles, at the "tail" and off the "neck", which is connected to the "head" or primary forward hull section. The "head" features the bridge, main engineering and a majority of the primary weapon systems of the vessel.
The primary emitter of a Warbird in located at its forward disruptor array, which also appears to be shared with a plasma torpedo launcher. (DS9: "The Die is Cast"; VOY: "Message in a Bottle", et al.) Two additional disruptor arrays are located, one each, along the top of the upper "neck" support and one along the bottom of the lower "neck" support. (TNG: "Contagion", "Unification, Part II")
- Although not mentioned on screen, the original design of the Warbird was to have a single torpedo launcher behind the "head" and "neck" of the ship, at the top foremost position of the upper "shell". The positions of the disruptor arrays were originally intended to be placed in pairs along each side of the "head", the highest point at top-center of the "back", at the lowest point at top-aft of the "back", in the "tail", and at the highest point at the bottom-aft of the "belly" -- totaling eight in all.
- Interestingly, the primary array has fired both constant and intermittent disruptor beams (as well as the occasional torpedo). It is unknown if the disruptor types used are the type-3 disruptors mentioned in Star Trek: Generations. On occasion, various Starfleet officers have been mistakenly misidentified Romulan disruptors as phasers. Photon torpedoes have also been mentioned as being among a Warbirds' armament. It is, however, unclear if this was also a mis-quote or if they were always intended to be plasma torpedoes, a weapon originally used in TOS: "Balance of Terror" and later resurrected (for the Romulans) in DS9: "Image in the Sand".
Like earlier Romulan ships, D'deridex-class Warbirds were equipped with cloaking devices, which protect them from detection in most evasive situations. However, cloaked Warbirds radiate a slight subspace variance at warp speeds, therefore ships traveling at speeds above warp 6 run a much greater risk of being detected through their cloak. (DS9: "The Search, Part I", "The Die is Cast") While traveling under cloak, all electromagnetic emissions, including communications, aboard a Warbird are carefully monitored. (TNG: "Face of the Enemy")
Warbirds utilize a forced quantum singularity as a power source. If that system is not functioning perfectly or is damaged, even slightly it might show through the cloak as a magnetic disturbance of some kind.
In order for a Warbird to remain undetected while under cloak, the radiative emissions from the warp engines must be precisely balanced. A slight misalignment in any of the Warbirds' nullifier cores will create a small magnetic disturbance in space whenever the ship is in motion. This may make the ship detectable while cloaked. The effect of this disturbance, when it occurs, appears intermittently as a polarized magnetic distortion. (TNG: "Face of the Enemy")
The use of the confined singularity, limits the Warbirds overall maximum speed. For a Warbird to match the maximum speed of a Galaxy-class starship, it must exceed its engine output by 30%. Doing this, would typically cause the Warbirds' warp drive to sustain irreparable damage. (TNG: "Tin Man")
- Although several features of the Warbird were never addressed on screen, Andrew Probert, the designer of the Warbird, has noted the locations of several of these components, including the locations of the aforementioned weapon systems.
- The navigational deflector is supposed to be "V"-shaped faceplate located on the "face" of the ship, the center of which was instead featured as the primary disruptor array/torpedo launch by the VFX editors.
- The impulse engines are non-existent of the Warbird model. Probert admitted this mistake as an oversight -- one made, in part, due to a limited time schedule for design and construction.
The primary color scheme aboard Warbirds is distinctively beige and green-gray or teal.
Located in the front of the bridge, against the forward bulkhead, is the ship's main viewscreen.
Directly behind the viewscreen, and to the left, is the location of the pilot's console, which contains helm (and possibly navigator) functions. In some ships, the pilot stands at his console; in others the pilot is allowed a chair.
The command chair is located near the rear of the bridge on a raised platform. Around the parameter of the command chair are various stations. (TNG: "Contagion", "Face of the Enemy"; DS9: "The Die is Cast")
- At least four different types of D'deridex-class bridges have appeared in Star Trek, each significantly different than the next. Although rather consistent in terms of layout, these variations -- including positions and design of auxiliary consoles/stations, style of command chair and design of view screen -- appear to vary as much between Warbirds as they vary between different Klingon Birds-of-Prey. The bridge that appeared in "The Die is Cast" was, by far, the most elaborate, followed closely by the bridge in "Face of the Enemy".
- According to the script for "Face of the Enemy", the original bridge layout placed the command chair to the far back of the bridge so that 'no officer went unsupervised'. This, however, was not how the final layout for the bridge was designed, as there were consoles positioned just outside the commander's peripheral vision. The bridge that later appeared in "The Die is Cast" placed several auxiliary consols well behind the commanders field of vision.
Adjacent to the bridge is the commander's ready room or command center. Although appearing to vary by ship, one style includes (but is not limited to) a large desk and couch, with removable table and a window viewing into space. (DS9: "Improbable Cause", "The Die is Cast")
The command center is an alternative to a ready room, which includes monitors and display consoles. This allows the commander to monitor the control of ship or fleet activities without actually being on the bridge. (TNG: "Redemption, Part II")
The Wardroom is the conference or officers room connected to the main bridge by a set of doors. Its function is similar to that of an observation lounge, but also serves as the dining area for the ship's senior officers. (TNG: "Face of the Enemy")
- This would seem to indicate that a meal preparation room is located near the ward room, in order to best facilitate the serving of the officers prepared meals.
The main engineering section is located at the ventral base of the forward "head" of the Warbird. Its layout is similar to that of a Galaxy-class starship, with primary situation station in the center of the room, and associated consoles along the walls surrounding the room.
One outstanding difference between the main engineering of a Warbird and other Romulan starships, from those of the Federation and Klingons, is the absence of a large matter-antimatter reactor core. In place of this bulky component, the Romulans have a wall compartment, which contains their Romulan engine core. (TNG: "Timescape")
- Although not specifically called "E" Deck, it was described as being "two decks down" from "C" Deck. Due to the unique configuration of the Warbird it is unknown if this follows their standard designation procedures.
- According to Probert, the original design of the Warbird was to have a two large cargo bays centered on each side of the foremost position of the lower "shell".
The crew quarters aboard a Warbird are located on the ships "C" Deck. They are sparsely furnished with a table and chairs in the center of the floor, and a set of bunk beds incorporated into the walls. Crew quarters can also have forcefields integrated in and around their bulkheads. (DS9: "The Die is Cast")
- The crew quarters that appeared in "The Die is Cast" were a redress of the crew quarters aboard the USS Defiant.
- IRW Belak
- IRW D'deridex (prototype)
- IRW D'ridthau
- IRW Decius
- IRW Devoras
- IRW Dividices
- IRW Genorex
- IRW Haakona
- IRW Khazara
- PWB Koderex
- IRW Makar
- IRW T'Met
- IRW Terix
- PWB Tomal
- Adam "Mojo" Lebowitz & Robert Bonchune. Star Trek: Starship Spotter. New York: Pocket Books, 2001. ISBN 0-7434-3725-X
The D'deridex-class warbird was designed by Andrew Probert and was debuted in TNG: "The Neutral Zone". It was the last new ship Probert would design for the show. The class designations of "D'deridex-class" was first mentioned in TNG: "Tin Man".
The episodes "Face of the Enemy" and "The Die is Cast" both heavily feature the interior of the warbird; "Contagion", "The Mind's Eye", "Redemption, Part II", "Timescape" and "Improbable Cause" also feature smaller sections of the warbird's interior.
The Warbird that appeared in TNG: "Contagion" was referred to as a "battle cruiser", which seems to be an inaccurate classification for a vessel of this size. However, according to the script for that episode, the Romulan vessel was also referred to as a Romulan Bird-of-Prey. This indicates that the Warbird model may not have been intended to be used in this case, and the battle cruiser reference was never changed to reflect the model used.